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U.S. focused on consequences for N. Korea's missile tests: Blinken

Diplomacy 00:34 January 14, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- The United States is working with allies and partners to ensure that North Korea faces consequences for its recent missile tests, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

Blinken also noted the North may continue to launch missiles as part of efforts to get more attention.

"I think some of this is the North Korea trying to get trying to get attention. It's done that in the past. They'll probably continue to do that," the top U.S. diplomat said in an interview with MSNBC, referring to recent North Korean missile tests.

"But we are very focused with allies and partners in making sure that they and we are properly defended, and that there are repercussions, consequences for these actions by North Korea," he added.

This photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central Television on Jan. 12, 2022, shows what the North claims to be a new hypersonic missile being launched the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korea launched what it claims to be a newly developed hypersonic missile on Tuesday (Seoul time), the second such test in less than a week.

The U.S. said the North has launched six missiles since September.

On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the U.S. has proposed additional U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

Blinken noted the U.S. has offered to meet with North Koreans at any time, anywhere and without any preconditions.

"Unfortunately, not only has there been no response to those overtures, but the response we've seen, as you pointed out, in recent weeks has been renewed missile tests, something that is profoundly destabilizing, is dangerous and it contravenes a whole host of UN Security Council resolutions," he said.

"So not only are we sanctioning North Koreans, we are deeply engaged both at the UN and with key partners like South Korea, like Japan on our response," he added.

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions on six North Koreans based in Russia and China, along with one Russian national and a Russian company, for illegally procuring materials for the North's missile programs.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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